News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2007

Embattled Morgan teacher returned to the classroom

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

The Morgan County Board of Education voted Wednesday at a called meeting to return a teacher accused of inappropriate behavior last fall to the classroom at a different school.

Last October, the board transferred Richard Verchot from Priceville High sixth and seventh grade to a newly created information technology position in the Central Office after students accused him of inappropriate behavior that board members later called "horse play."

The board voted 6-1 Wednesday to move Verchot to computer technology teacher at Union Hill School.

School board President Jimmy Dobbs said he voted against the transfer because he wanted Verchot to stay in the Central Office where he could continue much-needed upgrades to the school system's technology.

"I don't have a problem with him being in the classroom," Dobbs said. "I just wanted to keep him down here (Central Office)."

School board members Carolyn Wallace and Dora Woodard also said they were fine with putting him back in class. Wallace said that the board moved Verchot out of Priceville High to calm a situation that developed between the teacher and some parents and students.

Woodard said Verchot is returning to Union Hill where he taught before moving to Priceville High.

"He taught there, and they know him, so I think they'll be fine with him coming back to Union Hill," Woodard said.

Superintendent Bob Balch would not comment on the transfer.

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